A night out without the phone

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by ericgtr12, Sep 23, 2016.

  1. ericgtr12 macrumors 6502a

    ericgtr12

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    Mar 19, 2015
    #1
    I asked my wife if she would like to go out to dinner and leave the iPhones at home, it would be nice to just disconnect for a while without the temptation of it. She sounded open to the idea but asked what would we do in the event of an emergency, and why not just bring them while leaving them off. I can see both sides of this I suppose, however most of us who are over a certain age lived this way long before the invention of cell phones/connected devices. Now it seems like we can't live without them.
     
  2. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #2
    These days, when I am home, and I am going out, I always leave my phone - perhaps - accidentally on purpose - behind.

    This is because when I am at home, for personal reasons, my carved out and claimed time to myself, when I am (deliberately) uncontactable and unreachable, which allows me 'to switch off' completely - is absolutely invaluable.

    Emergencies? They happen.

    People wish to get in touch with you? Return their call (when you checked 'missed calls' on your return home) at your convenience - the following day, or week. Or whatever.

    Boss calls? You are out and you are off.

    Return that call the next day.

    Anyway, it is enervating - and emotionally exhausting - to have to be 'on call' all of the time, and so now, when I am out, my phone is (usually) at home. Very rarely, it is with me and switched off.

    Leave the phone at home, and see what happens. The feeling of liberation is wonderful.
     
  3. mscriv macrumors 601

    mscriv

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    #3
    For parents of small kiddos I can see the desire to have the phone with you in case an emergency call comes in from the sitter. Just turn it off and check it once or twice while out, if you are in that kind of situation. But, for those folks without kiddos then I say having personal time like @Scepticalscribe mentioned above is very valuable. I understand that the degree to which folks can "unplug" may be dependent upon their career choice or other factors, but I can't stand the way our culture has shifted to the expectation that others should always be available to them just because we have technology that has made communication more convenient.

    My personal philosophy is that I have a personal/mobile communication device for my convenience, not for your perceived right to have me at your beckon call. I also think the emergency/safety factor is more of a marketing hook that plays into people's anxieties and fears as opposed to a necessity.
     
  4. ericgtr12 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    ericgtr12

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    #4
    I know that once I got off of Facebook it felt as good as when I finally quit smoking, very liberating indeed. It's probably my age group being a little older but I don't feel the need to be constantly connected, time outs always do me a lot of good.
     
  5. D.T. macrumors 604

    D.T.

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    #5
    Yep, if you have kids, and you're leaving them at home with a sitter, that's a totally different equation. Otherwise, sure, why not, unless you're in some very specific situation (outside of the aforementioned kids) where being able to reach you is life-critical.

    When we do occasionally go out by ourselves, we take our phones _just_ for emergency phone calls, or maybe a quick photo :)
     
  6. Scepticalscribe, Sep 23, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2016

    Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #6
    Agree completely with both @mscriv and @ericgtr12.

    Actually, @mscriv has expressed my concerns very well: Just because technology makes it possible for you to be connected (and contactable) does not mean that you ought to be or should be within reach at all times.

    My own view is that it necessary to set - and enforce - boundaries of personal space; irrespective of family and other emergencies, - personal and professional - this is a core need, as well.

    When I work in war zones, I accept that I need to be contactable 24/7. However, friends, family, bosses and colleagues do not - and ought not expect the same degree of unlimited access.

    And I agree, too, with the idea that the 'emergency/fear' factor is used as a marketing hook more often that it is actually needed.

    My own mother is elderly and has advanced Alzheimer's; when I am home, I have responsibility for her life, and yes, there have been emergencies. But, when I am out, I am out; it is necessary to set a time and a space when you are out of reach, and so, for those hours - even if I am chilling in a café, savouring a late lunch, having a glass of wine, idling in a bookshop, that is time I have claimed for myself and for those hours I am simply uncontactable.

    Let what happens happen; I will deal with it when I have to.
     
  7. ericgtr12 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    ericgtr12

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    Mar 19, 2015
    #7
    Well, what did we do for emergencies 15 years ago? It's not like we're helpless without being able to call from a phone on our person, I agree that it's more of a fear/marketing hook.
     
  8. Tech198, Sep 23, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2016

    Tech198 macrumors G4

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    #8
    There is no problem keeping u'r phone on you, but forcing your self not to take it just because of a temptation of "if it's on you, then u'll use it"

    Time to break the habit of "being on you and u must use it always"

    We don't have to use phones, we want to.. It's still technology, and while in emergency situations can always come up we still need a phone for that always. The thing is not to use it "as much"

    Ignore unwanted calls, don't check facebook that often etc... ya know,, give a 2 hour break and not pick it up kinda thing..

    I take my iphone with me all the time, but it's for pure emergency purposes only. I never got into the "i have to use something i have always " like a mobile phone, so maybe i'm different

    It's also good to get out and get into real life for a bit...
     
  9. D.T. macrumors 604

    D.T.

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    #9
    That is HUGELY important for the caregiver, particularly with that [horrific] disease - and I say that as someone who has had very, direct and personal experience.
     
  10. Apple fanboy macrumors Core

    Apple fanboy

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    #10
    You told the sitter the name of the restaurant you went to and made sure they had the number.
    I always have my iPhone on me, but it hardly ever rings....

    Mostly because I give the number out hardly ever. It's for my convince not the garages/car insurance/boss!
     
  11. kilcher macrumors 65816

    kilcher

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    Jul 3, 2011
    #11
    Take it with you, leave it in the car. Seems like a good compromise.
     
  12. sdilley14 macrumors 65816

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    #12
    I always have my phone on me. Why not? When I go on dates I either keep it on silent in my pocket or I put it on the the table face-down (on silent). When I go out with my friends, same thing - it's on silent/vibrate in my pocket. If there is a lull in the conversation I take out the phone and tinker with it for a minute, or if something interesting happens nearby I pull it out and take a picture, etc. When I'm lifting weights or when I go for a walk/hike I keep it in my pocket on silent and I listen to music/podcasts. When I'm driving I keep it in the center console and I don't touch it unless I'm at a stop light or parked.
     
  13. Scepticalscribe, Sep 23, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2016

    Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #13
    Why should you 'tinker with the phone' if there is a lull in the conversation?

    Perhaps it is a generational 'thing', but on the relatively rare occasions I am out with people, I prefer to devote my whole attention to the conversation - and expect the same courtesy from those who are with me.

    Actually, I have noticed that those who twiddle, tinker, fiddle, focus on their phones while out are rarely interesting conversationalists; their concentration is too easily distracted and seems curiously fragmented.
     
  14. Apple fanboy macrumors Core

    Apple fanboy

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    #14
    It certainly is a generation thing. I recall going out with some guys from work. I asked one of the younger guys why he had come for a drink as he literally spent the whole evening on his phone and hadn't said two words.
    He said it was just a habit.
     
  15. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #15
    Yes, but as "just a habit" it makes that person pretty poor company and a miserable conversationalist.

    They are no longer interesting people to wish to spend some time with (and I am very mindful of time, and a lot less tolerant of tedious company than I used to be).

    When I see someone, I want to see and listen to (and chat with) that person; I'm not interested in their relationship with their phone.
     
  16. xaqt93 macrumors 6502

    xaqt93

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    #16
    This is just my personal opinion. I am 23 years old and have had a cell phone since I was about 13. I didn't get an iPhone until I was in College (iPhone 4S). I personally don't like leaving my phone anywhere but that is probably because I have grown up with a phone always around.

    My girlfriend and I have made a new rule that when we are out spending time with just each other, we put our iPhones on "Do Not Disturb." It makes it easier to not get distracted. We both have Apple Watches and we turn them on Low Power Mode when we are together just so we are not tempted. I love my iPhone but I can also remember when I was a kid and only the rich grown-ups at cell phones and I remember that having to be "On Call" all the time is not nessary
     
  17. Loco Emperor macrumors regular

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    Jun 17, 2016
    #17
    This perception of being tied to our phone is a bit hyperbolic to me. My phone is usually always with me as is the charger. I'm not a prisoner to my phone.

    That's why we have features like do not disturb or the silent switch or gasp the power button.

    You're right fifteen years ago we didn't have phones. But we did have pagers. But more importantly this is not fifteen years ago.
     
  18. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #18
    Agreed, it is not fifteen years ago. (And, as someone who trained as a professional historian, it is possible that I might run the risk of not knowing that it is not fifteen years ago. For which, my profuse apologies).

    But - while I remember pagers - full disclosure: I have even used one - I also remember that outside of pretty important work environments, or compelling professional reasons, nobody used them.

    Thus, they did not invade the private space, or the personal space, and people were able to cordon off their personal lives without having to be 'on call' - or otherwise available - all of the time.
     
  19. sdilley14 macrumors 65816

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    #19
    I'm not saying I "should" tinker with my phone if there is a lull in the conversation, and I certainly don't pull it out every time there is a 3 second pause in conversation. But at times when a person is out with a friend or a group of friends, they aren't staring deeply at each other and engaging in conversation the entire time, every moment. If I'm with 2 or 3 friends, and those friends are chatting about something that doesn't really involve me or interest me or whatever (they're talking about their work, marriage, kids, whatever), what's wrong with me choosing to take out my phone and mess with it for (literally) a minute? It's not like we are engaged in a deep conversation and I'm pulling out my phone and staring at it is people are trying to speak with me. And it isn't like I'm choosing to play with my phone rather than speaking with my friends. If I'm on a date or meeting a friend for an hour, sure, the phone doesn't typically come out. But I typically hang out with multiple friends at a time and we are out for 3-4-5-6 hours at a time. I don't see an issue with pulling the phone out once an hour and checking messages, texting people, posting updates, taking pictures, etc.
     
  20. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #20
    Hm.

    I suppose that I do.

    Typically, I text - or phone - when I am alone, not when I am with people. In general, I don't consult my phone when I am out - and, I am rather underwhelmed if those who are with me constantly choose to do so as well.

    And, to be honest, I don't much care for being part of updates that other people post, either.

    Re conversations, it is not that people are 'staring deeply at one another', but it is that - in a conversation - that you are thinking about what the other person may have said, mulling over it, and perhaps, offering a story, or anecdote, or conversation by way of reply. Your attention is on the conversation, what is being discussed, what is happening and what is being said rather than on distractions.
     
  21. kazmac macrumors 601

    kazmac

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    #21
    I have to say my time without a phone four days now is both liberating and frustrating. Frustrating only due to checking email at work and during my commute. Otherwise, I really do not miss it. Makes me wonder if I should just go ahead with the SE and an iPad mini 4 if the Apple store cannot unlock my yahoo hacked 6s.
     
  22. ericgtr12 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    ericgtr12

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    #22
    My 15 year comment was in response to using a cell phone for an emergency, a pager would do no good in that situation.
     
  23. Apple fanboy macrumors Core

    Apple fanboy

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    #23
    So your iPhone got hacked because of the yahoo thing? How does that work?
     
  24. kazmac macrumors 601

    kazmac

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    #24
    I was using yahoo as my native email and when they struck something was inside either Yahoo, Safari or iTunes when synced my phone to restore it to new, it was hit with activation lock by some unknown Yahoo email. Apple's validation team have yet to get back to me on whether or not they can unlock my phone and my newer iMac also just died as a result of this mess.

    This has been a year of stupid financial mistakes and I made a lot of dumb surfing / security errors that any novice computer owner makes not someone who has been cautious since my 2003 Identity theft experience.

    Eventually I will be over the financial stings of this year and my look before I stage dive decisions. At least there appears to be no identity theft this time so that is something to be grateful for. Perhaps it is just the power that is upstairs saying maybe you need to rethink your life a bit. Thankfully my 2010 iMac is still working which is what I am typing this in on.
     
  25. ericgtr12 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    ericgtr12

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    #25
    Wow, sorry to hear that. Hoping for a quick recovery for you.
     

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